Today was one of those days when I got to sit down and write with my students. These days are few and far between. I want to but that means students must be settled and engaged in their writing – all of them. Today was one of those days.
So as I sat writing and thinking about the importance of modeling for our students what we want them to do. I was pleased that I was able to finally sit down and show them I write.
When writing I really wondered how many of my students or any students for that matter really see their parents or teachers sitting down to write for an extended period of time. In this technology rich age they see quick e-mails, sticky notes, Facebook notes, and Twitter notes. I even thought back to when my children were young – what did we as parents model for our children. They knew we both wrote and still write. They saw their father write often since he is a freelance writer and works at home but for me they only heard about it.
I am a writer who needs to be along to gather my thoughts and write. It is very difficult for me to write in the presence of others. So I would (and still do) write later in the evening when others have gone to bed or off to do other solitary tasks. I would find a place to be alone with my thinking. So I was not modeling writing for my own children – they only heard about my writing or saw bits of it once in awhile.
I asked my students after we finished writing our SOL today – how many of you see your Mom or Dad or Grandmother write often and for a full page or two. I expected no hands to go up but about nine hands popped up right away. I was pleasantly surprised and asked what their families were writing. Again I was amazed but they said “my Mom always write letters to my Grandma.” “Yeah, my Mom writes to my Uncle almost every weekend.”
I realized so many of my families do not have computers at home, are not sending quick e-mails. They are living on tight budgets with family members all over the United States. So many of them are still writing family letters and cards, writing in languages other than English to share the news what is happening here in Minnesota.
It was a great reminder and lesson for me today
- to think about when do I model by writing in the classroom and at home
- I need to not assume that others are not writing at home – high poverty and crazy home lives does not mean they are not writing or staying connected through words.
- in fact my families might be writing more that those families where technology is king and rules that home.
Do you model writing at school and at home?
Do you share your writing with your classroom?
Why or Why not?